I get a lot of questions at the History Junkie about finding a Revolutionary War ancestor. Many of you will ask me if I know of a specific soldier that fought in a specific battle. I understand the frustration when researching your ancestors. You don't have much to go on and many of the records are unclear. So I decided to create a quick guide to help you in your research. Hopefully this will answer your questions and point you into the right direction.
The American Revolutionary War was fought 1775 - 1783 and took place in all of the original thirteen states, Florida, Western Frontier, Canada, Caribbean, and even England. During the war there were many records that were generated that make tracking down your Revolutionary War ancestor possible.
So where do you start when you are trying to find your Revolutionary War ancestor? The best places to begin is in one of these five records:
- Compiled Service Reports
- Federal Pension Records
- Bounty Lands
- 1790 Census
- Hereditary Societies
These are good starting points that I will give more information about so that you know what to look for in each of them.